CLEVELAND — An up-and-down first extended season in the big leagues is nearing its end for right-hander Zach McAllister, who has been a fixture in Cleveland’s rotation since replacing right-hander Jeanmar Gomez, posting a 5-8 record and 4.31 ERA in 20 starts.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot,” said McAllister, who was expected to spend the majority of the season at Triple-A Columbus. “You just try to build on some of the things you’ve learned.
“In the minor leagues, I was always able to rely on my fastball. I can’t do that up here.”
McAllister, 24, started strong, going 4-2 with a 3.18 ERA over his first 10 starts, but is 1-6 and has allowed four or more runs in five of his last 10 outings.
He has logged a career-high 176 innings at Cleveland and Columbus this season, with his overall performance already leaving a positive impression on manager Manny Acta.
“We like what he brings to the table,” Acta said. “He battles. I think McAllister is a guy that has impressed the most. He’s more of a finished product than the young kids we have seen up here.”
McAllister is expected to come to training camp next year as a strong candidate to make Cleveland’s Opening Day rotation.
Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was not in the lineup after tweaking his injured right wrist during a swing and leaving Wednesday’s game in the eighth inning.
Acta said Cabrera would take batting practice with the team today and that he expected him to play in the series opener with Kansas City.
The Indians are in the midst of auctioning off their radio rights to longtime holder WTAM 1100-AM and WKRK 92.3-FM.
“We have been involved in a bidding process for our radio rights and are encouraged with the progress we have made, but at this time don’t have a finalized deal,” Cleveland’s senior director of communications Curtis Danburg said. “I don’t anticipate an announcement coming in the very near future.”
A recent story in Crain’s Cleveland business magazine claimed that WKRK was the frontrunner, but recent developments indicate that not be the case after all. WTAM has been the Indians’ flagship station since 1998.
The Indians’ final road trip of the season starts with a three-game series against Kansas City that begins tonight at 8:10.
Justin Masterson (11-14, 4.93 ERA) opens the set for Cleveland, opposing RHP Luis Mendoza (7-9, 4.50), while Ubaldo Jimenez (9-16, 5.43) goes for the Indians on Saturday (7:10 p.m.) against LHP Will Smith (5-8, 5.08).
David Huff (1-0, 2.61) starts the series finale Sunday (2:10 p.m.), while the Royals counter with RHP Jake Odorizzi (MLB debut).
Minnesota won the season series against Cleveland, 12-6. … The Indians have gone 7-11 in September, with all seven wins coming in one-run games. … Rudy Ruettiger threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The movie “Rudy” was based on the life of Ruettiger, a former walk-on football player at Notre Dame. … Tonight, 8:10, STO/WTAM 1100-AM.
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